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Human Resources

Purpose and pay are growing priorities for Australian employees

Health Industry Hub | October 6, 2021 |
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Human Resources: The sudden closure of many workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new era of remote work and will lead to a significant shift in the way a large segment of the workforce operates moving forward.

Interestingly, compensation increases and the desire for better alignment between personal interests and job responsibilities have risen on the list of factors Australian workers consider in a new employer, according to the latest Talent Monitor from Gartner.

Gartner survey data collected in 2021 (April-June) found that nearly one-quarter of Australian employees surveyed (22.5%) actively looked for a new job, while more than half (53.2%) of Australian employees engaged in passive job seeking during that period.

More than half (56.2%) of Australians reported work-life balance as a top five reason to consider a new employer. It also ranked third on the list of motivators to leave their current employer.

However, pay is creeping back up the priority list, with the data showing compensation leapt back into the top three reasons to change jobs, up from ninth place from year-over-year.

Employees are also more likely to consider whether the job responsibilities match their personal interests. ‘Job-interests alignment’ rose two places to eighth in the list of reasons an employee would take a new role. Before the pandemic, it did not appear in the top 10 reasons for potential candidates to join a new organisation.

“After the chaos of the last 18 months, Australians have been reflecting on what is important to them and making fundamental changes to both their personal and professional lives,” said Aaron McEwan, vice president in the Gartner HR practice. “Employees are in a better position than ever to be seeking more satisfaction in their employment arrangement.”

This radical reset has created challenges for organisations as employees demand change or decide to seek it elsewhere. Closed borders also mean shorter supply and greater competition for talent.

The Gartner survey found that those who are staying in their roles are less likely to go above and beyond for their employer. Employees reporting high levels of discretionary effort in Australia, traditionally higher than the global average, fell a further 0.4% since last quarter to just 15.6%.

Gartner’s research offers organisations a clear path forward as most attraction and attrition drivers revolve around management and workplace practices.

“Employers have a clear mandate: evolve the employee experience to avoid paying a premium for new talent,” McEwan said. “Australians are seeing positive indicators within the job market; organisations that do not evolve risk mass resignations and an exodus of talent,” 

McEwan said the most effective way to address retention issues is by taking a more holistic – or “human centric” – approach to the employee value proposition. “We know that organisations who make these organisational and cultural changes are more likely to not only retain and attract staff but have a more productive and happier workforce too,” said McEwan.


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